I want to touch His hem, press through the crowd of paparazzi and stars and planets to crawl over dust and space and the trash that lines the streets the galaxies swirling
I want to touch His hem like that woman with blood-stained garments He, her final hope as she pressed through the crowds of paparazzi and stars and planets and crawled through dust and space she herself the culture’s trash the galaxies of her world swirling in one last pitch for pause. I want to touch His hem I want Him to turn, visible through it all, and ask ‘who touched Me’ knowing all along it was me It was me I touched His hem and the bleeding stopped.
I play darts in the graveyard at night. The tomb-less Dead throw jabs through their friends and neighbors; as they hover above the dew-draped ground and dispel into tree-branches without a sound. No harm done except to one; a mortal not a specter.
Sometimes they target me, project a red circle on the front of me pierce the place with saber-like cutlery. If only I would bleed.
Then night draws them back into crypts below. Where they smirk and trash talk the unfortunates ones like me with precarious abilities. I stumble home with a real heart and tender limbs run through with their darts, not of death but of ruin.
I pull them out. Slow motion surgery, Leaving only doubt that I am capable to rise, trapped in full shiver, without shame, proud of my name.
Direct hits burn on in misty disappearance, haint-like they linger, cold among the dead. Yet burning in the sunlight until once again, I play darts in the graveyard at night.
My Face Is Known Théoden, king of Rohan, struggled to breathe after falling in the battle for Gondor. His lungs began to collapse, and the blood that had sustained him through many stories of victory and defeat now streamed into the ground of Middle Earth. Frantic arms embraced him as he searched his years for final words. Éowyn, Théoden’s niece, spoke his name and as he focused on her, he whispered through an inviting smile, “I know your face.” Few phrases capture me with the depth of this one. We all desire for our face to be known—not just seen and described with impressions from without but with the soul-heartened gaze that has walked the journey beside us and chosen not to turn away. Last night I recalled these words and ached to hear them. Then the words came in a kind and knowing whisper. Jesus knows my face. He holds and raises it when shame forces my eyes to the ground. He squeezes my cheek and musses my hair when we’ve laughed. And when He sits and stares into my eyes with love, having seen the fear, the anger, questions, and wavering, He moves His thumb across the damp skin under my eyes and takes the tears for His treasure. He adds them to His own. I wonder if when He searched His vast and timeless stores of memory for final words on the cross, did He look into my eyes, as yet unformed, and whisper, “I know Your face.” Did He look into your eyes, years future, and say the same? How I want to know His face in return. I want to sit with Him through dinner, the kind with cloth napkins and fine wine. I want to know what He’s thinking and finish His sentences as we smile and move to the center of the room. I want Him to lead me as we dance and flow as one to the song of lovers who’ve worked and worn and created together. “I know Your face,” comforts me today and I find myself full, my face tinged by the redness of a virgin blush. Surely, the whole world must see that my face is known.
Oh no, a cliché, the one that they say is mild and melodious the way that life should be when Jesus transforms us from dirt to eternity from desert and rocks to a pasture of green.
So cliché’s aside for a moment or two and look at the words not what they say but what do they do when it’s out of control and on a downhill roll then splash in you go to the waters of still and silent and hush this is good.
But does He know the valley of death where the spirit lives in a cave in the ground where no nourishment gives a shit in the space and no word of grace but it crawls inside an oil so crude and an attitude but He’s there. . .
and He walks beside He knows when to speak and for days He’ll just listen till the space and the cave empty to sand and the salt of the earth rises up to touch my lips and it is well and the fortress is mighty like a shield and the space is the house of the Lord not the damned.
Stages of Grief
Denial: When there is a loss he has not yet left Palpable presence, the experience of breath Still warm is the outline on the sheet beside me The image ethereal, the authentic so near. Anger: When there is a loss, the damned of hell laugh their flames Like acid, their spit, melting blisters on pale pink skin Charred and fragile, ashes blown in tornadic lift A hate, a leaving, a not understanding, a fist, and a nail. Bargaining: When there is a loss, a crap game ensues The die is thrown with a rope to the heart And the numbers make known The dice are loaded and the game is over before it begins. Depression: When there is a loss, a ghost is left Sometimes a moan of wisps left single Or a voice so strong as to be an inch from audible A double-edged sword, with blood on both sides. Acceptance: When there is a loss There is a loss…And the game goes on The incentives linger No longer tokens but stones to remember. (Based on the five stages of grief by Kubler-Ross)
Wendy Brown, LMFT
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